If you’re like most golfers, putting is probably the weakest part of your game. But it doesn’t have to be—especially not if you have a professional-grade putting green right in your own backyard.
Building your own putting green takes a bit of work, but with a little effort you’ll be able to practice your short game all day long—without driving to the golf course. Here’s a step-by-step guide showing you how to get started:
- Pick the right spot. A good practice putting green should be fairly large, and ideally it should contain some unique angles and slopes to create bigger challenges. But even a small 15×15 foot should be big enough to get the job done. Also keep in mind that you may want to leave an area next to the green to practice chipping.
- Prepare the area. Mark off your putting green with rope or spray paint. After you’ve done that, you need to remove all grass and debris from the area. The type of grass on a putting green is different from the grass that grows in your yard, so you’ll need to get rid of it. It can be helpful to till the soil as well, and then smooth it out as much as possible with a hard, flat surface.
- Select your grass. Backyard putting greens can be made from artificial or real grass. If using artificial turf, you will need to lay down a crushed stone or plastic base. If you’re using real grass, there are several varieties you can use, with Creeping Bentgrass being one of the most popular. You can find this type of grass at your local gardening store, and you should follow the directions on the package to determine seed density.
- Let it grow. Make sure your grass is getting plenty of sunlight. Let it grow until it is about an inch tall, then begin mowing it. You will have to mow the grass several times a week to keep it at the right height for a putting surface. If you get artificial turf though, you won’t have this problem!
- Maintain the grass. Before the surface is ready to be used, you will have to water and fertilize it frequently. Probably for at least a month, as you want thick, healthy grass. Don’t let the grass get too dry as short grass is more prone to dehydrate and die quickly. You’ll have to keep an eye on it every day.
- Add a hole and flag. Typical golf holes are about four inches across. Carefully measure and dig the hole. This can be made easier by using a specially designed golf-hole cutter. Keep in mind you can always adjust the hole location in the future. After you’ve dug the hole, purchase a cup and flag, and get started improving your short game!
By using this easy guide, you’ll be putting with the pros in no time. Just remember, in order to be a great putter, you’ve got to put in the deliberate practice. But having a great putting green in your own backyard makes it that much easier!